Why I haven't used my DSLR for months

Posted on by Mike Evans


DPReview writer Barney Britton has just completed his review of Fuji's new X100S. He likes it a lot and has been using it continuously for five months. In that time, he now realises, he hasn't once picked up his heavy DSLR. It's a now familiar story. I gave up on DSLRs three years ago and have sampled a satisfying collection of mirrorless and rangefinder systems since then. All are smaller and lighter than the typical DSLR, they are more discreet and, above all, they produce comparable if not better results. I have also come to appreciate the benefit of having just one prime lens, a 35mm as is the case with the Fuji or, say, Sony's RX1 which is now part of my stable. It is a 35mm lens that sits on my Leica bodies more often than not. Choosing 50mm or 90mm is the exception rather than the norm.

Professional quality compacts such as the X100S, RX1R, Ricoh GR and Leica's X2 are getting smaller and delivering the same results that would have demanded a large-sensor DSLR just a few years ago. For pocketability the tiny Ricoh and its APS-C competitors privide the smallest package capable of producing professional results. The RX1/R isn't that much bigger but packs a full-frame sensor with potentially even higher image quality.

There is now a gathering trend away from the DSLR to fixed-lens compacts or mirrorless system bodies. It's where the action is at the moment and I cannot help feeling that the two big boys of the DSLR world, Canon and Nikon, are offering too little too late.